About Us

About the farm

Phytofarm

Herbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It has long been used to maintain health and treat aliments. Through observation by ordinary people, it has evolved as a viable, modern alternative.

Phyto means plant. We use the word in our name because healing plants are so important at our medicinal plant farm. Our aim is to bring herbal medicine back to its rightful place in garden plots and promotes the ancient kitchen and herbal pharmacy that uses plants in our environment.

About our plant diversity

The principles of sustainable and organic farming are crucial to this herb farm. Crops are managed with generous dressings of compost and peastraw for moisture retention and weed control.

About Valmai Becker

ValmaiIn the 1980’s I owned The Old Shipping Office, an Akaroa restaurant popular for its provincial cuisine, artful plate design; use of herbs and edible flowers. I attained a Diploma in Naturopathy (ND) in 1980 and with this qualification I established and managed a clinical practice for eight years, specializing in using the philosophies and traditions of natural medicine and a holistic self-healing model of wellness. I used Herbal Medicine, Nutritional and Massage Therapy to manage acute and chronic conditions.

I am a well known Naturopath and Professional Member of New Zealand Association Medical Herbalists. My passion for Natural Medicine took me into the realm of education and for 17 years I was a Co-owner and Director of Canterbury College of Natural Medicine. As the course director I wrote curriculum to New Zealand Qualifications Authority standard for the Diploma programmes taught at the college and was a teacher in many aspects of Natural Medicine.

The development of Phytofarm is now my primary passion and brings together a number of my skills – gardener, teacher, learner and care taker of 30 acres of forest and gardens. I invite you to join me for an inspirational learning experience in herbal medicine, wellness and creating your own garden pharmacy.